Skip to main content

Legislative update, week 13: Lawmakers return with big to-do list


After a one-week spring break, Minnesota state lawmakers will return to the Capitol Tuesday with a long list of things they want to accomplish before an expected adjournment in mid-May.

Just a few of the highlights:


Gov. Mark Dayton has offered a revised budget proposal for the next two years that aims to pull the state out of a forecasted $627 million budget deficit, in large part by raising taxes on the wealthy (single filers who earn $150,000 a year or couples who make $250,000). Specifically, if Dayton's plan were approved, 54,440 Minnesota tax filers would have to pay higher rates, the Star Tribune reported.

Republicans disagree with that approach. They say soaking the rich hurts the job creators who are trying to kick the state’s economy into a higher gear. Meanwhile, House and Senate DFL plans mostly line up with Dayton. Dayton and DFL lawmakers propose spending roughly $38 billion over the biennium.

Separately, Dayton plans to soon unveil a detailed bonding bill proposal for about $750 million worth of spending on public works projects, including some for state Capitol renovation.

Gay marriage

House and Senate committees last month approved legislation that would legalize gay marriage in the state, a high-profile issue that has drawn even more interest as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a federal law that withholds federal benefits from gay married couples, even in states where gay marriage is legal. A vote is expected in the full House and Senate after budget battles are settled.


Testimony on legislation aimed at curbing gun violence has sparked passionate testimony this session. Early proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines do not have widespread support. Debate now is focused on whether to expand background checks for gun buyers.

Lawmakers have lots of other legislation on their plates, on issues spanning a proposed minimum wage hike, frac sand mining, and a wolf hunt moratorium.

Forum Communications has an at-a-glance list of two dozen issues lawmakers are likely to tackle in the final dash to adjournment.

Next Up

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

ashley Carlson

Remains of missing WI mom found in Pine County, MN

Ashley Miller-Carlson was 33 years old.

D'Angelo Russell

D'Lo's late takeover helps Timberwolves win double-OT thriller

Russell caught fire to help the Timberwolves get back to .500.

Gopher Football

Gophers suffocate Badgers, reclaim Paul Bunyan's Axe

Minnesota picked up its first home win over the Badgers since 2003.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Boy, 6, run over after falling off trailer in Meeker Co. tree farm accident

He was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center with internal injuries.

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.